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Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

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What is an Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator?

Job Description & Duties Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.

Life As an Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator

  • Operate or tend automatic stacking, loading, packaging, or cutting machines.
  • Weigh materials or products and record weight or other production data on tags or labels.
  • Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
  • Hook tow trucks to trailer hitches and fasten attachments, such as graders, plows, rollers, or winch cables to tractors, using hitchpins.
  • Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.
  • Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.

Skills Needed to be an Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator

When polled, Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Types of Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator Jobs

  • Lifter Driver
  • Tractor Operator
  • Hydraulic Lift Driver
  • Straddle Truck Operator
  • Cat Tender

Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator Job Outlook

There were about 549,900 jobs for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.6% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 36,100 new jobs for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators by 2026. The BLS estimates 65,900 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators are California, Texas, and Georgia.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Delaware, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator Salary

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators Make between $24,910 and $51,620 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $34,750.

Salary Ranges for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$53,580

Hawaii

$50,540

District of Columbia

$50,240

Washington

$43,430

New York

$42,340

Minnesota

$41,500

New Hampshire

$41,340

Connecticut

$40,980

Wyoming

$40,520

Maryland

$40,490

North Dakota

$39,920

Vermont

$39,690

Delaware

$39,630

Massachusetts

$39,370

West Virginia

$39,200

Nevada

$38,400

Rhode Island

$38,390

Iowa

$37,950

California

$37,940

Virginia

$37,900

Wisconsin

$37,890

Michigan

$37,830

Pennsylvania

$37,730

New Mexico

$37,650

Montana

$37,500

Oregon

$37,410

Georgia

$36,700

Colorado

$36,670

New Jersey

$36,490

Florida

$36,460

Kansas

$36,440

Illinois

$36,240

Oklahoma

$36,140

Maine

$35,920

Arizona

$35,910

Utah

$35,850

Missouri

$35,750

Louisiana

$35,560

Ohio

$35,490

Idaho

$35,450

Indiana

$35,420

South Dakota

$35,010

Nebraska

$34,880

South Carolina

$34,820

Kentucky

$33,980

Tennessee

$33,810

North Carolina

$33,720

Texas

$33,580

Alabama

$33,520

Arkansas

$33,150

Mississippi

$31,500

Tools & Technologies Used by Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Excel
  • SAP

Becoming an Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator

What kind of Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator requirements are there?

Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator Work Experience

Where Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators Are Employed

Industrial Truck or Tractor Operator Sectors

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Tire Repairers and Changers
  • Helpers–Carpenters
  • Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers

Those who work as Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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